Blanche, 'Little Amber Bottles' (Original Signal)

5
Little Amber Bottles
Critical Mass
Label: Original South

by Bret Gladstone

Blanche is a genetically purebred Detroit band: vinyl-happy Dumpster divers with a penchant for theatricality, an innate sense of decay, and a keen feel for country music's gothic underbelly. On their second album -- a haunted collection of plucked banjo and loping murder ballads -- the prominent ghoul is Johnny Cash, from whom Dan John Miller cops his barrel-chested moan and a knack for making cruel songs seem funny. At his best, Miller follows ex-bandmate Jack White's example by taking well-studied traditions and disrupting them. Other times, those traditions, however vividly evoked, come off feeling -- well, a little blanched.

More on Blanche: Blanche Take 'This Town' to Task

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